Burgundy 2018 (part 5: midway)

Wednesday

After the previous night’s extravagant dinner, we slept WAY in. So we did very little until noon. We decided to try La Fringale, another recommendation from Patrick. Again, it was spot-on, with excellent seafood. I started with a tomato/mozzarella/onion salad while Virginia had lightly fried calamari with greens. We then both had grilled salmon with tagliatelle and tomato, and ended on citron sorbet (me) and chocolate mousse (her). It all paired with a half-bottle of Sancerre, which proved versatile for the entrées and mains.

La Fringale is near the Quarter of Antiquities, so we took another pass through looking for something Virginia wanted. But alas, no joy. So we headed back home to escape the highest heat of the day and call Iberia again about our lost luggage. Success! Well, kinda – I managed to actually talk to someone, who said they would contact the airport. And we continued to wait.

I cooked a rather fancy dinner for us: pan-seared duck breast in mustard/shallot sauce with green beans, followed by a cheese course. We paired everything with a Domaine Michel Nöellat Nuits-St-Georges 1er cru “Les Boudots” 2008, a wonderful gift from the winery!

Thursday

A quiet night led to an early morning. After our usual breakfast, we stayed at home to get a little work done and hope our luggage might arrive (it didn’t). We lunched at la Maison des Cariatides, which we had read about. The daily menu included options, so we went for separate choices, paired with a half-bottle of white Burgundy:

  • Chris: eggplant, tomatoes, cheese, and sesame cracker; white fish with lemon, capers, butter, and new potatoes; tarte of apricots and pistachio
  • Virginia: lightly scrambled eggs with tomato; duck with currants, chèvre, and tagliatelle; pavlova

After lunch, we tried Iberia again, with no change in our knowledge of where our luggage might be or when we might get it. To take our minds off it, we headed out and bought me a new broad-brimmed hat to shield my neck and ears from the sun. Happy with our purchase, we went home for a simple dinner of roast Bresse chicken, salad, and cheese.

Friday

Market day! We got up early to get there for our groceries. (As an aside, I love the idea of shopping fresh markets every few days, and wish we could do this at home.) We quickly unloaded everything and packed back up for the day.

Our first destination was Vézelay, a historic hilltop village in the Morvan of western Burgundy. We parked at the base of the old village and walked up to the famous abbey at the top of the hill. It’s really impressive! We walked around the building and marveled at the view before going inside. The interior is austere and beautiful, a departure from many of France’s cathedrals and churches.

We debated whether to have lunch in Vézelay or move on, before realizing that any driving would likely put us outside lunchtime. So we stayed on the hilltop for lunch at SY La Terrasse, which turned out to be a very pleasurable place to eat. We were seated outside for seafood gougeres, followed by whitefish (Virginia) and pork tenderloin (me). A 500ml carafe of rosé went perfectly with both the food and weather.

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On the walk in Vézelay.

We walked back down (which felt good after a heavy lunch) and drove to Chablis, about an hour away. Chablis is home to some of the most classic Chardonnays in the world. Unlike those in the Côte de Beaune, wines of Chablis are typically not aged in oak, emphasizing the steely, mineral character of the soil. We tasted and bought wine at two well-regarded wineries: Domaine Laroche and William Fevre. Both had some very nice premier cru wines, and we bought a total of six bottles for our “take home” stock.

We finished our time in Chablis walking around the village before having ice cream and coffee at a café, and then drove back to Dijon. Our earlier driving focused on the scenic routes, but going home was all about the freeway. When we got home, I made my now daily call to Iberia to hear that they would contact the airport. At this point, we were starting to lose hope in getting our luggage, but we kept on trying. (More later.)

Among the goodies we’d picked up at the market was a rabbit roast. So I made that with a simple salad, and the roast turned out to be rabbit wrapped around sausage, which kept the roast moist and delicious. We finished with a now-habitual cheese course before calling it a night.

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